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Midland honors the late Michael Crain, inspiring UTPB professor and mentor

Midland honors the late Michael Crain, inspiring UTPB professor and mentor

The City of Midland recently proclaimed Nov. 9, 2023 as “Michael Crain Day,” in honor of a man “who inspired us to be kind, generous and compassionate,” according to city officials.

Crain was a volunteer-turned-paid instructor at the University of Texas at Permian Basin, and he also founded Midland-based BAM Consulting and BAM BizHub to provide startups and existing businesses with opportunities to develop, grow, and expand. His eclectic career, which included a past life as an engineer, was in part inspired by the generosity of a young man he never personally knew.

See, at age 41 Crain underwent a heart transplant. He would discover that his heart donor was a 23-year-old married man with a two-year-old son who had been a student at Arizona State University. Inspired by this, Crain decided to pursue the field his donor had chosen: Managing Information Systems (MIS). He went on to earn a BA and Masters in the field of study from ASU.

In a touching gesture, he gave his degrees and awards to his donor’s young son, “marking the start of a pay-it-forward life,” according to loved ones.

After moving to Midland with his wife Sandra in 2009, Crain volunteered at UTPB for four years before he was convinced to join the university as a paid instructor. He taught in the College of Business, MIS.

During his tenure, UTPB honored Crain with an Outstanding Teaching Award. He was lauded as a mentor to many who instilled a passion for business, entrepreneurship and success in his students. He taught his students the value of volunteering with organizations like the Salvation Army, Backpacks for the Homeless, Lone Star Sanctuary for Animals, American Heart Association and many more.

Crain defied the odds in his health. His transplanted heart endured for 22 years, more than double the expected lifespan of 8 to 11 years, according to his obituary. He received his second heart transplant on March 5, 2023, and died on June 28.

At the Midland City Council meeting on Oct. 24, Midland Mayor Lori Blong lauded Crain for his good works in the community.

“He contributed a lot to the entrepreneurial community and business community here in Midland,” the mayor said.

The city commended Crain for “taking up the role of professor, mentor and guide with zeal” when he received his second chance at life.

“He consistently inspired his students and the community towards business, entrepreneurship, and volunteer work,” the city stated. “Michael’s mantra was to ‘Live life like you stole it,’ and he exemplified it daily.”

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